FDA Warns Manufacturers of Potentially Deadly Powdered Caffeine

By Peter R - 02 Sep '15 11:54AM

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned five manufacturers of pure powdered caffeine about the potentially fatal risk their products carry.

According to The Washington Post, the agency has warned PureBulk, SPN, Kreativ Health, Hard Eight Nutrition and Bridge City Bulk. The companies have been given 15 days to respond or risk seizure of their products. The move comes nearly a year after two young and healthy men died from caffeine overdose. Pure caffeine is marketed as a nutritional supplement and thus faces fewer strictures than pharmaceutical drugs.

"The difference between a safe amount and a toxic dose of caffeine in these pure powdered products is very small. Furthermore, safe quantities of these products can be nearly impossible to measure accurately with common kitchen measuring tools," FDA said while adding one teaspoon of pure caffeine is equivalent in quantity of caffeine in 28 cups of regular coffee.

The FDA mentioned vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation as symptoms of caffeine toxicity.

Following receipt of the warning letters, at least one manufacturer has reportedly said it would stop selling powdered caffeine.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has called FDA's move inadequate.

"The letters show progress on the issue, but the agency's action today falls short of a comprehensive ban and recall of the product. Pure caffeine never should have been sold to consumers. A teaspoon is a fatal dose for a child, and two teaspoons would kill most adults. FDA has clear authority to ban such a hazardous product and should do so," the advocacy agency said.

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